Publication Date

Spring 2015

Document Type

Project Summary

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Russell E. Carter, PT, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Renee Theiss, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Roberta O'Shea, PT, DPT, Ph.D.


Background and Purpose: The purpose of this case report was to delineate the differential diagnosis of vertigo symptoms in a patient after a stroke and describe interventions used in the outpatient physical therapy setting.

Case Description: The patient was a 90 year old male treated in an outpatient physical therapy clinic after a lacunar stroke 6 months prior. The patient presented with symptoms of vertigo that are common after a stroke, but also exhibited symptoms consistent with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).

Outcomes: Overall, the patient greatly improved his abilities for gait and balance after treatment. The patient appeared much safer walking without an assistive device and was able to increase his ability to function at home with a large decrease in the symptoms that had been preventing him from doing so prior to physical therapy.

Discussion: The patient was able to achieve a more functional status at home with a decrease in symptoms through outpatient physical therapy intervention that included BPPV treatment, vestibular ocular reflex training, and balance exercises.